Meets for 8 classes, Monday & Thursday Evenings, May 22 - June 26
All classes meet in the MIT Tang Center, E51-151
Start Smart is a hands on class for new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike who are serious about launching a startup. Classes are focused on the major steps required to prepare a solid understanding of your target market and launch a successful startup venture and provide students the contacts they need to help start a new venture as successfully as possible.
Originally inspired by Guy Kawasaki's popular book, "The Art of the Start,” the curriculum was developed by our Start Smart Committee. The curriculum has evolved over the 9+ years of the program’s existence to incorporate new concepts and now also utilizes the book “Disciplined Entrepreneurship,” by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Each student receives a copy of The Art of the Start and Disciplined Entrepreneurship as part of their registration fee.
Why Take This Class?
- Learn What it REALLY Takes. Get insights on the important analysis required to prepare your new venture for a successful launch and rapid growth. Define and refine your company’s target market, product positioning, business model and go to market strategy
- Network + Build a Lifetime CEO Network. CEO's, successful entrepreneurs and investors are invited guest speakers and an integral component of the Start Smart learning experience and the other students in the class are a natural source of an in-the-trenches peer group
- Expert & Peer Feedback. Bring exercises you have completed to class, discuss your results and receive expert and peer feedback on how to make improvements
- Create a Company Pitch Deck. The deck will be suitable for potential investors, clients, recruits and partners
Class 1 - Monday, May 22, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
Who is Your Customer?
Class entrepreneurs will learn about company purpose and mantra, selecting a beachhead market, defining an end user profile and estimating a total addressable market.
Speaker: Rana Gupta, CEO, Felsuma LLC
Class 2 - Thursday, May 25, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
What is your Value Proposition & Competitive Position?
Class entrepreneurs will learn about quantifying the value proposition of their offering to their target market and charting their competitive position.
No Class, Monday, May 29 - Memorial Day
Class 3 - Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
Legal Issues for Startups
What does an Entrepreneur need to know about startup legal issues in the areas of employment, intellectual property and financing?
Class 4 - Monday, June 5, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
Determining Your Go to Market Strategy
Class entrepreneurs will consider how their target market customers will acquire their product/services.
Class 5 - Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
How Will Your New Venture Make Money?
Class entrepreneurs will consider their business model and its alignment with target market buying behavior.
Class 6 - Monday, June 12, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
How do you Design & Build Your Product/Service?
Class Entrepreneurs will consider all key assumptions underlying their business model / go to market strategy in defining a minimum viable product with which to test market acceptance/preference.
Class 7 - Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
The Art of Raising Capital
It is possible to build a business without capital, but it may be much easier with it. This session will examine techniques for successfully raising capital from a variety of sources.
Speaker: Bic Stevens, Stevens Capital Advisors
Class 8 - Monday, June 19 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
The Art of Pitching (Investors, Partners and Customers)
A good company pitch can be used to achieve many goals; raising money, closing a sale, securing a partnership, and recruiting employees.
Speaker: Chuck Goldstone, Executive Director, !deaworks New Venture Initiative
Class 9 - Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 6 - 9 pm
Mock Investor Pitch
CEOs must demonstrate the ability to present the essentials of their ventures concisely and in a manner that showcases their results. Each student will have twenty minutes to present their company pitch deck. Each presentation will be followed by feedback from the class and other invited MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Guests.